More and more short-term rental hosts are equipping their properties with smart locks to make it easier for guests to get in and out. In this article, you’ll find out more about the advantages of a smart lock for your short-term rental, how they work, how to choose them and more practical tips.
What is a smart lock for vacation rental rentals?
Smart locks are part of the new home automation equipment grouped under the “Smart Home” umbrella. Smart locks are used by individuals for their own use, but also by owners and managers of vacation rentals to simplify entry and exit, while ensuring a high level of security.
Once a smart lock has been installed on your front door, travelers will be able to unlock it in several ways, depending on the model chosen: via a dedicated mobile app, by unique code, fingerprint or card.
How does a smart lock work?
Below are the main operating principles of a smart lock:
- Traditional locking mechanism: you keep your current lock.
- Connectivity options: your smart lock generally integrates wireless communication modules: bluetooth, wifi connectivity, or even RFID cards. This enables your lock to communicate with smartphones, tablets, cards or home automation hubs.
- Smart lock power supply: these are generally battery-powered.
- Mobile app: owners and managers can manage remote locking/unlocking of the door via an app, receive notifications as soon as an opening/closing has been initiated, or create new access codes for future travelers.
- Access management: in general, you’ll be able to create time-limited access codes for guests, a perfect system for a short-term rental business based on defined booking periods.
- Home automation integration: some smart locks can be integrated into larger home automation systems. This enables advanced automation, such as integration with motion sensors, security cameras, or energy management systems.
- Security features: opt for a smart lock that offers end-to-end data encryption and complies with a strict security protocol, and offers frequent updates.
- What about failure? If you encounter an electronic malfunction, most smart locks allow you to open the door manually with a back-up key. Phew!
What are the advantages of a smart lock?
As a vacation rental host or property manager, you may be thinking of modernizing your property and equipping it with innovative technologies such as smart locks. Find out more about the many benefits of installing a smart lock in your vacation rental property below:
1. Keyless entry
This is the main purpose of installing a smart lock: to enable easy keyless entry to your vacation rental and streamline the arrival process. This avoids the need for multiple sets of keys, and ensures that you won’t lose them or let them evaporate into thin air as there are no more to go around.
What’s more, smart locks mean you don’t need a key box or concierge services for key handovers.
2. Facilitating the check-in process
Many travelers are now accustomed to traveling completely independently. In fact, more and more owners and managers are offering self-catering to facilitate travelers’ arrival. Travelers will appreciate the modernity and flexibility offered by smart locks.
You’ll enhance the customer and guest experience and simplify arrival and departure, while having peace of mind. What’s more, you may even inspire them to install this type of solution at home.
3. Manage your rental remotely
Another key benefit of a smart lock is the ability to manage your vacation rental remotely. Digital entry means you don’t have to make an appointment to collect the keys, or install a key box outside your home or building.
In fact, all you have to do is send the access code to open the door of your vacation rental in your traveler communication.
This way, you avoid the constant back-and-forth with guests and save time. The time you save can be used for other tasks related to your short-term rental business.
4. Top-level security
With smart locks for vacation rental, you have access to your vacation rental’s entry history. You can easily check that entries are made during the reservation periods.
Notifications are sent to you in real time as soon as the door is unlocked. So you can easily identify if something is wrong.
Adding a smart home service to your vacation rental opens the door to a “smart new world”. A wide range of other equipment can be installed in your vacation rental, including: a connected thermostat, smart lighting, connected speakers, connected shutters and much more.
Smoobu Guide: Find out more on Smart Home Technology and Smart devices.
How to choose a good smart lock?
The market for smart locks is vast. It can sometimes be complicated to choose the perfect solution with the right smart lock features for your short-term rental, as there are so many technical features to choose from.
To help you choose the best smart lock for your rental, you can ask yourself the following questions and see which product best meets your needs:
- How long and how easy is installation?
- Does the lock come with a dedicated iOS or Android mobile app?
- Can you unlock your door remotely?
- Compatibility with your current lock system?
- Which identification methods are integrated?
- Does your solution present auto-lock capabilities ?
- Is lock activity recorded?
- Is a keypad (or digicode) integrated?
- How many fingerprints can be registered?
These points should help you make an informed decision.
How to install a smart lock for your vacation rental?
First of all, it’s important to know that a smart lock does not replace a traditional lock with a key system. Instead, the smart lock device will be grafted onto the existing lock.
With this type of lock, you won’t need to call in a locksmith. In fact, once you’ve ordered and received your smart lock system, you’ll be able to install it on your front door on your own. The installation process will be provided to you, and all you have to do is follow the instructions. From now on, you’ll be able to manage your rentals remotely and in total security. Below are the main steps involved in installing your smart lock:
- Leave the key on the door, inside your short-term rental.
- Glue the lock mounting plate to the inside of the door.
- Screw on the electronic lock housing.
- Place the batteries in parallel to allow the mechanism to operate.
- Once powered, the lock will turn the key in the opening and closing directions. This will ensure that the mechanism is working correctly.
- Next, pair the lock with your phone and the dedicated application, depending on the model and brand you’ve chosen.
Generally speaking, you’ll be able to unlock the door in several ways:
- via Bluetooth Key with a free iOs or Android app
- via key codes to be typed on a keypad
- via remote control
- via a voice assistant system such as Apple HomeKit, Alexa or Google Assistant.
For code access management, via your smartphone you can create three types of codes:
- A single-use code, your guest uses the given code once and then it’s automatically deleted.
- A limited-use code, ideal for short-term rentals. You automatically create a code that will be active for the duration of your guest’s stay. When the stay is over, the code is automatically deleted and the customer can no longer access your accommodation.
- A permanent code, ideal for cleaning services, for example, who need to enter your rental on a regular basis.
You can monitor your lock status remotely, thanks to the activity log integrated into your app, and create or delete codes at any time of day.
Smoobu-compatible smart lock partners
Smoobu’s solution enables many property owners around the world to manage their vacation rentals more easily, thanks to a powerful Channel Manager, centralized multi-source reservation management, facilitated traveler communication and integrations with major market players.
In this respect, Smoobu offers simplified platform integration with the market’s leading smart lock solutions: the Nuki smart lock lock, Sclak, Thekeys, igloohome, Masunt, Remotelock and Tedee.
How do smart locks work with Smoobu?
As stated, Smoobu offers integrations with partners operating in the smart lock market. These integrations work smoothly with Smoobu, allowing you to generate temporary access codes for each reservation and therefore each traveler. Make sure you have a digital keypad so that your guests can type in the access code.
Another positive point is that these access codes can be integrated into your Smoobu automated guest communication via a placeholder defined upstream by Smoobu and the partner. For example :
Subject: How do I access the Happiness Home?
Hello [First name/Last name],
Your stay at Happiness Home is just around the corner. To access the property, you don’t need a key! All you have to do is enter the code [Entry Code Placeholder] on the keypad to the right of the front door.
Take this opportunity to discover our Guest Guide and prepare your stay with ease.
See you soon,
[Your First Name]
Find the key to success with Smoobu
Take advantage of a free 14-day trial of our vacation rental management solution to boost your business and simplify your day-to-day management. Take this opportunity to plug your vacation rental smart lock with Smoobu, and streamline your operations!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a smart lock for vacation rental rentals?
- 2 How does a smart lock work?
- 3 What are the advantages of a smart lock?
- 4 How to choose a good smart lock?
- 5 How to install a smart lock for your vacation rental?
- 6 Smoobu-compatible smart lock partners
- 7 Find the key to success with Smoobu